President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan officially inaugurated Turkey's biggest place of worship, the Grand Çamlıca Mosque on Friday, joining thousands for the Friday prayers in the splendid venue, which can accommodate 63,000 people, ONA reports citing Daily Sabah.
Ali Erbaş, Turkey's top religious figure who is the head of the Presidency of Religious Affairs, led the prayers and delivered a sermon on the occasion. A large number of foreign guests who were later scheduled to hold a meeting with Erdoğan were among those attending.
Speaking at the ceremony, Erdoğan used the occasion to condemn attacks on religious institutions across the world, underscoring that attacks on places of worship stemmed from the same "dark source".
"Attacks in the name of religion on places of worship or innocent civilians constitute terrorism, not jihad," said Erdoğan, urging all to reject the brutal and primitive mentality that turns houses of worship into "a bloodbath".
"Those who attack mosques or those who target churches share the same dark mentality, they're all common enemies of humanity," he said.
The president also reiterated his determination "to clear the nation and region of Daesh, PKK, FETÖ, Al Qaeda terrorists".